Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TWD: Coconut Tea Cakes

Picture this - it's just after 11:30pm. I've taken the new pup for the last walk of the night as the last of my Coconut Tea Cake cupcakes are baking in the oven. After getting him settled I pull the cupcakes out of the oven, having already put the first batch in a container to take to work. I settle into bed, warm and snugly, happy in the knowledge that I have finally reclaimed my kitchen after 2 weeks of exile. This "being a new mom thing" is really hard, even if it is only being a canine mom.

Then, just as I am about to drift off to sleep, happy in knowing I have baked and baked well, I look at the clock and realize I forgot one last step - I didn't post! Since it was after midnight, I figured a few hours either way wasn't going to matter.

So that is how I am here posting on Wednesday morning about this delicious recipe picked by Carmen of Carmen Cooks.

Since I don't have a bundt pan I went the cupcake route. I used sweetened coconut as I am a huge lover of coconut. The cupcakes took about 20 minutes and turned out moist and and so good (I've already had two!). They have just enough coconut flavor without being over powering and I love the texture the shredded coconut gives. These will definitely find their way into a rotation.

Since I made cupcakes I was tempted to find a way to top them, but I think they will show up to work "naked." They are tasty all on their own. And for my co-workers who may reject them because they need a topping, then I say "more for me!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why there is no TWD from me this week

And it's a good one......I'm a mom again! Complete with lots of walks (us), a little separation anxiety (us again), a few "accidents" (that would be him) and a whole lot of sleep deprivation (me! He's snoring right now! UGH).

That said, I think I struck gold with this little rescue poodle/terrier/who-knows-what mix. I've been 2 years without a furry companion after Jake the Wonderdog went to doggie heaven. It was finally time to bring in a new recruit. And this little one year old, named Bailey, is a well mannered, smart, fun little guy. We're getting to know each other, and so far I think we like what we see in the other.

I'll be back to baking next week. See you then!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TWD: Thumbprints for us Big Guys

Well, I can say I'm not a guy - no comment on the size part. And instead of a thumb this recipe calls for a pinky. I went the wooden spoon route, but I am getting a little ahead of myself.

I made half of the recipe, and used almond meal rather than ground hazelnuts. Since Trader Joe's carries the almond meal it just sounded easier and cheaper. Also I am not a huge fan of raspberry, so I used what I had on hand - apricot preserves and lemon curd (oh how I love lemon curd!). Otherwise I followed the rest of the recipe. I won't tell you how old the almond extract I used was. Let's just say I haven't used much of it until now, but it has been packed up and moved with the rest of the kitchen things more than once.

Sadly I felt very rusty making these, even though I have baked since January. When I mixed everything together it just didn't come out right. Rather than dough I had sand and definitely not the correct consistency. My solution - my hands. I squished everything together until it was dough like, and would maintain the shape of a ball.

These also seemed pretty small. Somehow the picture in the book makes both the cookie and the "thumbprint" look much bigger. And they didn't come out of the oven looking very pretty (probably due to the weird consistency of the dough). They look more "ragtag" than anything else.

It's at this point in the process I think that my co-workers will not be munching on cookies tomorrow.

After cooling I filled them and gave them a try. A little dry - again, probably more to do with me than with the recipe - but very tasty. I really like the nutty flavor with the sweet apricot. The lemon curd sure does give it some tang! Still won't be bringing these to work for the co-workers (I have a reputation to maintain), but they will be very nice with a cup of tea in the morning.

PS - it sure is good to be back!

Almost Back!

Hey there!

Long time no blog. So long, in fact, that when asked for my password I really had to think about it. I'm horrified it's been since January since I've posted here. Yikes!

My excuses are the usual - work, family, etc. I work for a company that is very busy around Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. This year I was able to travel for the company, which I love to do. I have to work really hard, but I also get out of the office and meet new people and see new places. This time I went to Maine. Since I have friends in New England I was very happy about the location (plus the incredibly mild winter they are having this year!). Last time was Albuquerque (which I can now spell). Most "interesting" place was Waco, Texas. "Interesting" indeed!

Other than those reasons I feel compelled to share one more. I suffer from a "perfectionism" problem. It isn't just here, it's really all through my life. I don't want to do something unless it is nothing short of spectacular. So often times I don't post because I'm just not feeling spectacular. Anyone else have that problem? I know it's ridiculous, so I'm going to try to make a concerted effort to post more often, even if it's only "good enough." Get on me if I don't. A little peer pressure and/or friendly support is good for these personal life changes one wants to make.

Anyway, I'm just typing this up while I wait for my butter to get to "room temperature" so I can make this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Plus I wanted to lessen the shock of my return. Oh, and bribe you a bit. Many of you asked about my cool Recipe Divider months back. It divides and multiplies measurements by two and three - very handy when not wanting to make 60 cookies, for instance. I was at the local cooking store recently and picked up an extra as a give away. So leave a comment on my blog (any post, not just this one) during the month of March and I'll pick a name at random and send it to you.

I look forward to seeing what you've been up to the last few months. Now - off to bake some cookies!